According to the U.S. Census Bureau 26.8% of Hernando County’s residents are age 65 or older. It’s no secret that as people age they may become more susceptible to abuse or financial exploitation for a variety of reasons. Elder mistreatment (i.e. abuse and neglect) is defined as intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm (whether or not harm is intended) to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder. This includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy the elder’s basic needs or to protect the elder from harm. The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they don’t want to get the abuser (90% of whom are family members) in trouble. Signs of elder abuse may include (but are not limited to) tension between the caregiver and the elderly or changes in personality or behavior in the elderly person. If you suspect someone you know age 60 is being mistreated or taken advantage of please call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).
*Information from: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Library/Data/index.aspx